By Katie Dahlstrom
Home sales in the Clinton market were down 30 percent in June compared to a year prior, a new report from the Iowa Association of Realtors shows.
Despite the reported dip in sales, local Realtors don’t feel their paces have slowed.
“It’s hard to believe because we all feel so busy,” Clinton Board of Realtors President Barb Suehl Janis said.
In June, 35 homes were sold in the Clinton market, which covers Clinton and Jackson counties along with some listings in Scott County. During the same period of 2012, 50 homes were sold.
Statewide, home sales were down 7.3 percent in June 2013 compared to June 2012.
Home sales in the area this year are down 19.5 percent compared to 2012, a departure from the state, which has seen home sales increase 5.5 percent so far this year.
Suehl Janis believes the decrease in sales is due to reduced inventory. Prospective home buyers have 291 homes to choose from in the Clinton market. Last year, they would have had around 350 homes to buy.
Realtors also are struggling with a mismatch between what buyers want and what’s available. While many people seek ranch-style homes, they are more likely to find two-story or split foyer homes in the Clinton market.
“Our inventory is so low we don’t have enough to sell,” Suehl Janis said. “In particular we’re low on the second move up homes that fall in the $100,000 to $150,000 range. We have 34 total of those kinds of properties when a good inventory is 50 to 60.”
The average home price in Clinton also was down slightly during the month of June, falling from $109,036 in 2012 to $108,626 this year.
The average home sale price in Iowa climbed 5.6 percent in June from $160,647 to $169,648.
Clinton experienced growth in the median sales price of a home during the month of June, from 95,000 last year to 99,000 this year, a bump Suehl Janis associates with the position buyers are in.
“The lower inventory is helping us with turnaround. People have less to choose from and they have to make a decision. With the historically low interest rates, people have more buying power,” she said.
Homes sat on the market 42.8 percent longer this June than they did last year. According to the report, the averages days on market in June increased from 142 this year compared to 100 last year.
“This is where I have to dispute those numbers. I guess the facts are the facts, but we do not see the days on market increasing,” she said. “A home under $100,000 are sitting on the market far less days than they were a year or a year and a half ago.”
She also expects numbers to increase this fall as one of the busiest times for home sales approaches.
“April and October are our busiest months. Anyone who thinks because summer is going to end and they aren’t going to sell their house, they are wrong,” Suehl Janis said.